Farming Futures: automation and robotics, industrial research funding is a part of Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs’ (Defra) Farming Innovation Programme, which is delivered in partnership with UKRI’s Transforming Food Production Challenge. UK-registered companies can submit applications for a share of up to £12.5 million across the two prongs of this competition to develop cutting-edge robotics and automation solutions. These funds are provided by Farming Futures R&D Fund. 

This competition aims to provide funding for cooperative development projects with innovative robotics and automation solutions in horticulture and agriculture solutions. 

  • Support specific recommendations from recent Defra reviews and the Government Food Strategy for automation innovation funding. 
  • Address key issues facing the sector, where automation and robotics can reduce labour challenges and enhance productivity. 

You need to be able to show in your proposal how the project will benefit English farmers or growers.

This competition is split into 2 strands:

  • Strand 1 – Farming Futures: automation and robotics industrial research; accelerating collaboration with the UK’s world-class research base, agri-tech businesses, SMEs and UK agriculture to develop new agricultural and horticulture innovations. 
  • Strand 2 – Accelerating the deployment and uptake of innovations in robotics and automation in agriculture and horticulture that are almost commercially viable. 

Your project must:

  • have total costs between £500,000 and £1 million 
  • start by 1 September 2023 
  • end by 31 August 2026 for 36 month duration projects 
  • end by 31 August 2027 for 48 month duration projects 
  • be able to demonstrate how the project will benefit farmers or growers in England 

Competition opens: Monday 9 January 2023

Competition closes: Wednesday 15 March 2023 11:00am

 More Information: 

The applications are open until Wednesday 1 March 2023 11:00am. For more information and registration, please check here.

RedKnight has a strong track record of securing Innovate UK Smart Grants and can help you develop a competitive application! If you would like help putting together a competitive proposal, please contact us today.